Derek Lowe is scheduled to pitch tonight for the Dodgers. I’d been looking forward to this, because several readers reported over the weekend that Lowe was spotted in the dugout during last Saturday’s game with a captain’s “C” on his jersey. Unfortunately, nobody provided a screen grab or even specified the inning in which Lowe was visible, and I haven’t had the patience to scroll through the entire gamecast to find the appropriate shot (or the heart to ask Vince to do it), but I figured we’d all get to see the C when Lowe took the mound this evening.
The thing is, I couldn’t find anything on the web about Lowe having been named the Dodgers’ captain. So yesterday I called the team’s PR office, where a spokesperson let all the air out of the balloon: “He’s not the captain. That was just a joke that the other players played on him — they put the C on his jersey as a prank.” Too bad. This means Jason Varitek and Mike Sweeney maintain their status as MLB’s only current C-clad captains. (Derek Jeter is also a team captain, but he doesn’t wear the designatory letter.)
The reason the Lowe situation was so intriguing, of course, is that pitchers almost never serve as team captains. C-clad pitchers are rarer still, and C-clad starting pitchers rarest of all — rare, but not unprecedented. Back in 2000, the Cubs had four captains, all of whom wore C sleeve patches (a confusing protocol, since “Chicago” and “Cubs” both start with C): Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, reliever Rick Aguilera (you can just barely make out his C here), and starting pitcher Kevin Tapani (the best shots I’ve been able to find are here and here).
So at least for a day there, Lowe was an honorary member of a very exclusive club. Maybe he’ll be a real captain someday — but first he really needs to something about his pants. That’s no way for a person of stature and responsibility to dress. Meanwhile, if anyone recalls roughly when they showed Lowe during Saturday’s game, I’ll do a screen grab to preserve the moment for posterity. (Update: Thanks to a helpful post in the comments section, I was able to locate the shot — look here.)
Uni Watch News Ticker: Nice gesture last night by the Nationals, who acknowledged the shootings at Virginia Tech by wearing Hokie caps — or, more specifically, a variety of Hokies caps (much like the assorted first responder caps that the Mets wear annually on September 11th). The Nats actually wore their regular caps in the 1st inning before coming out in the Virginia Tech lids for the top of the 2nd, because the truck with the collegiate caps got stuck in traffic (details here). Additional pics here, here, here, here, here, and here, courtesy of Jason Reddish (who asked me to mention that he has a new blog). … Daniel Kinderman and Mike Toriello both report having received the following communiqué from USA Baseball: “In this survey, we will ask you to help U.S.A. Baseball select its uniform and headwear logo design. When considering the logos presented to you, please select the one you feel would best represent Team U.S.A. when they compete in national and international team competitions such as the World Baseball Classic and the Olympics.” Four options were given: the current design (Kinderman’s choice), and then this (Toriello’s choice), this, and this. Anyone else think these logo all look like postmarks? Not a decent cap in the bunch, either (and I swear to god, if anyone posts a comment about the flag sleeve patch being “backwards,” I’m gonna just blow up the site). … South Carolina just had their spring intrasquad game, which provided a look at their new Under Armour uniforms, and holy crap do they look awful (with thanks to Ronnie Poore). … The dates that the English Premier League teams will be unveiling their new kits are here (as provided by Dominic Litten). … Yesterday’s post about neckties led Scotty Johnson to point out that early pro bowlers also wore ties (an action shot would be better, though — anyone..?). … My old ESPN.com colleague Darren Rovell has done a small rundown of cool minor league baseball logos. … Andy Head was looking at some old Seattle sports photos and came up with this early baseball shot — note the beret-like caps. Nice early football shot, too. And another ballplayer wearing a tie! … William Blevins notes that Yankees emergency starter Chase Wright was wearing Sean Henn’s glove last night. … Not only does Felix Pie have the coolest baseball name in years, but he already had midseason-caliber pine tar on his helmet yesterday, even though it was his MLB debut (good catch by Bryan Redemske). … Another ballplayer wearing sunglasses at night: Hitoshi Tamura of the Softbank Hawks (as spotted by Jeremy Brahm). … Speaking of which, there’s an explanation for Morgan Ensberg’s night shades about halfway down this page. … Quasi-uni-related item: Vikings CB Cedric Griffin was arrested after a scuffle that began when he was ejected from a nightclub for wearing droopy pants. … Maybe someone should arrest Micah Owings, too. … Several of the Rangers were still wearing the Jackie Robinson helmet decal last night. … Very nice article here about the history and evolution of baseball gloves (with thanks to Billy Duss). … The Hawks may be getting new uniforms. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Check out this old hockey ref photo. Yeah, he’s got a tie, just like the officials whose photos I linked to yesterday, but the most interesting thing is that he’s holding a bell in his left hand, because early hockey officials used bells, not whistles. … Hey is that where the term “bells and whistles” came from?